POTSDAM – Village Police Chief John Kaplan plans to retire Tuesday, according to Mayor Ron Tischler.
Tischler said he received a formal letter of retirement from Kaplan, who has worked for the village since 1986, today. He has been police chief for the past seven years.
Tischler said he had been aware the chief was considering retiring, so the village requested a Civil Service list of candidates from St. Lawrence County to minimize the interruption during a change in leadership. All of the names on the list are currently employed village officers.
To avoid any conflict, Tischler has removed himself from the hiring and appointed Deputy Mayor Ruth Garner to conduct the replacement process. Tichler’s brother, Edward, is employed by the police department.
Garner has asked Trustee Steve Yugartis to be on the interview team and has also asked two members of the community, yet to be named, to assist with the hiring, the mayor said.
Interviews will be conducted June 29 and the board will convene a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to make their decision.
Tischler said Kaplan has been an outstanding employee. “He has been the kind of superb employee all employers value,” he said. “John has continued to foster the commitment of excellence in community policing.”
During his tenure in the police department, Kaplan has been a board member with Triad, the Salvation Army, the Potsdam Animal Shelter, Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Potsdam Public Library and the St. Lawrence County Arts Council. He has also volunteered with the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce and St. Lawrence County Community Services and served as an English as a Second Language mentor.
“John’s involvement in the community has expanded the traditional image and set a role model for officers who following in his footsteps,” Tischler said. “John exemplifies excellence in community service.”